Cycle 4 – Item 48
22 (Fri) February 2013
The Wife’s Mother-in-Law’s Birthday Hansang
by W and me
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ, Mom + Dad
In celebration of her mother-in-law’s birthday today, W put together a dinner feast, with some assistance from me. It was her first time in 7 years of marriage – her first time in 38 years of life, actually – that she attempted anything of the sort. Previously, the closest that she’d come was preparing an appetizer at our housewarming party for my relatives not long after the wedding. As far as I’m aware, she’s never cooked a single dish for her own parents, ever.
The meal was quite impressive. All the dishes laid out on the table at once, rather than brought out as a series of courses, such a spread is referred to in Korean as “hansang (한상)” = “one (han) table (sang).” Korean meals are hansang as a general rule (see for example 2.289 Hanjeongsik), from daily meals at home for the sake of convenience to royal banquets for the sake of spectacle.
Some hits, some misses, but overall a success. My father said that he expected an even grander spread on his birthday in July. My mother was very pleased, I think. Happy birthday!
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
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